s: What is your first memory with bikes?
mm: My grandfather in Poland had an old Victoria, and my uncle had bikes, but I was in my 20’s the first time I rode a motorcycle. I immediately fell in love with the feeling of freedom and solitude.
s: How did you start illustrating them?
mm: I began illustrating bikes around the same time I started riding. That was really the start of what ended up turning into a freelance illustration career, paralleled with my work as a digital designer/developer.
s: What a nice journey. Can you share what your relationship to Deus Customs US and how did the collaboration of having her art within its shop come about?
s: Oil and Ink. Vintage. Prints. These words can all be terms and buzz words at times for something nostalgic. What inspired all these ideas to come together and create this Expo?
mm: The Oil & Ink Expo was organized by John Christenson and Nick Huber of Staghead Moto. John asked me to contribute work to the exhibition, which took place in four locations around the US: The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show/Moto GP in Austin TX, Deus Ex Machina in Venice CA, Jane Motorcycles in Brooklyn NY, and Create at The Waterbury Building in Minneapolis.
It was an honor to be included in the show along with a lot of other artists whose work I’ve admired over the years. It was really interesting to see how each artist interpreted the vintage motorcycle theme.
s: What is it like for you to be in an entire differently cultural cosmos like Sweden and having people view your work in the physical space of a coffee shop? And, Are coffee shops a part of your lifestyle in Sweden?
mm: Actually, coffee shops have always been a part of my life — as a place to work, to meet friends, to gain new ideas, meet new people. I’ve been exposed to other artists’ work in coffee shops, as well as had my own work displayed.
s: How important is art to the culture of coffee?
mm: Art and coffee shops go hand in hand.
s: What can you share about the coffee culture in Sweden with our readers that might be culturally intriguing?
mm: Things haven’t changed much for me now that I live in Sweden, as far as coffee culture goes. Sweden is one of the world’s top coffee consumers, and coffee is drunk at most meals and throughout the day. The concept of “fika” is a social institution here — taking a coffee break with something sweet once, sometimes twice a day.
For a coffee lover like myself, it’s a little slice of heaven, and certainly helps keep your spirits up during the long winters.
s: A little slice of heaven,I say cupUP to that.
You can view more of Ms. McIlvenny’s work here. [/five_sixth_last]